D I O... P A P E R
thought it might be neat to give people a sense of where
our speakers come from and the people behind them. It
all starts with four people; Paul Nibbelin, Dave Lancaster,
Bob Ziegler and myself. For each of us speaker design is something
we have been doing for a long time. We each love working
with wood and electronics. We have long chapters in our
lives as independent contractors doing everything from remodeling
restaurants to building houses and custom furniture. We're
all skilled craftsman with that Wilbur & Wright inventive
spirit and we dearly love making things.
started this company selling speaker designs and reconing speakers
and eventually went on line with it in 1996. During the
years prior to this we had accomplished a terrific amount
of R&D and developed a number of novel speaker designs along
the way. There came a point where in the quest for perfect
sound our speakers got so good the amplifiers became the obvious
weak link. My focus shifted at that point, because without
better amplification I could not tell how good the speakers
amplification in the end turned out to be the Zen Triodes. Since
these amps were low power all of the speaker designs we have
previously done are of little use to us now. Of course ever
since the first Zen Triode amp, we have been trying to duplicate
it's sound in a high power package that would work on any speaker.
Now 8 years later I am certain it can't be done.
fact, it is for a multitude of good reasons proving to be far
more practice to focus on high efficiency speakers rather than
higher power amps. And this is what we're doing by developing
loudspeakers that will work with a couple watts. Most
of the things we will be doing will be available in both finished
and kit versions with measured drawings for those who want to
build from scratch.
role in all of this is to come up with the designs and build
and test the prototypes. I do this at my shop at home. I've
been at it for close to 20 years now. This is always one
of my favorite times. Old clothes, mismatched socks, 6
inches of sawdust on the floor and no distractions! I do my
best work in this state. There is something about working
with wood, using your hands to create things and letting your
mind run free that keeps guys like me balanced. If I just solder
amps and talk on the phone for 6 months I start to get out of
whack. The sawdust is therapeutic.
ideas for many of the designs come when Paul and I are working
together. From a creative standpoint we compliment each other
nicely. We became friends back in the day when we were
building houses for a living, and share a 6th sense that can
be attributed to being born an hour apart.
was Paul who actually started this fever for high fidelity one
day when he asked me to build a pair of 28 cubic foot folded
horns for his garage system because he didn't want his wife
to see him building them.
is often the catalyst for new ideas, and is essential for taking
a great idea and spinning it off into something even better.
great example of this is the Radial Loudspeakers. My years
of work on that were mostly a solo project. When I arrived
at the RL-1 and showed it at the VSAC in Washington, I thought
I was done with it. Seemingly never satisfied I was listening
to them one day trying to improve the sound when Paul showed
up and in less then 10 minutes came up with the concept for
the RL-2 which was nothing shy of pure genius, because it worked.
is Paul pictured in the photo at the right.
important element in the process is Dave Lancaster. We
can all hear, but another set of good ears never hurts, especially
when the person has owned everything worth listening to between
1968 and 1988. Those were the golden years of hi-fi. Dave
is a master tech who has also owned and repaired almost every
guitar amp ever built. He came to work with me when the
Zen amps started selling and has built over 1000 of the
little buggers since that time!
three of us have a Thursday night ritual where after work we
get together in our studio and sponsor a free jam session where
musicians in the area can come and play just for fun. Sometimes
20 people will show up, many times it will be just us and our
is Dave pictured at the left. His ears are often the final
say. If I like it, and he doesn't, you'll probably never
most recent addition to this creative group is Bob Ziegler.
Bob is a world class cabinet maker who builds exotic custom
furniture and like us, has a real passion for building loudspeakers.
Our paths crossed when a customer brought me one of our
cabinet designs that he had Bob build for him. I was so
blown away with the precision of Bobs work that I shut down
our tiny production cabinet shop and had him start building
all of our speakers.
I have a speaker design completed and prototyped I send it over
to Bob who builds a production prototype and all the jigs that
will be needed to manufacture the speaker. Below is a picture
of Bob on the right and myself at his home working out
the details of a new speaker design.
you can see, Bob's shop is always clean and organized making
him the most productive member of the group. This also
goes for the production shop where he manufactures everything.
In the creative process it seems that lots of sawdust
on the floor is good karma. In the production process
it becomes a safety hazard.
conception to production. Above is my think tank where
the ideas are tested, below is a picture showing a portion of
our production shop where ideas are manufactured.
of the interesting irony's of all this is my very first serious
speaker design done back in the 1980's has been pulled out of
storage, shown by Bendi in the photo below.
was originally developed as a 2-way with drivers of average
efficiency. Back then I didn't even know what an SET amp was
and would have probably laughed if you told me I would be building
2 watt amplifiers some day. This special design has been
dusted off and reworked for a high efficiency full range driver
with no crossover and is now the first of our high efficiency
style speakers to be manufactured.
you enjoyed the overview - and hope you got some sense of who
we are and the things involved in bringing you fine loudspeakers.
Decware is a trademark of High Fidelity Engineering
Copyright © 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
2007 2008 by Steve Deckert